All posts by AM

Leptospirosis Update – Cases Identified in NSW South Coast

A very serious infection of dogs, Leptospirosis, has been detected across NSW with detections on the Central Coast, Central and Northern beaches areas of  Sydney and more recently NSW South Coast. 

Seven dogs are reported to have been affected in this latest cluster, with four affected in the Newcastle area and three from the South Coast region. This is a wider area than the previous outbreak which occurred predominantly in metropolitan Sydney. Unfortunately, the current outbreak has a case mortality rate of 71% for unvaccinated dogs.

Risk factors for leptospirosis in dogs include a history of hunting or exposure to rodents, access to a stagnant water source, and living in or travelling to an affected area (especially within the preceding 30 days).

Areas which have had reported cases of canine leptospirosis include Annandale, Ashfield, Balmain, Cheltenham, Cooks Hill, Crows Nest, Darlinghurst, Elanora Heights, Erskineville, Figtree, Firefly, Glebe, Horsley Park, Ingleside, Lurnea, Marrickville, Medowie, Newcastle, Newtown, Old Erowal Bay, Paddington, Redfern, Sanctuary Point, Speers Point, South Coast, St Georges Basin, Surry Hills, Trunkey Creek and Waterloo.

WHAT IS LEPTOSPIROSIS?

Leptospirosis (often referred to as lepto for short) is a bacterial infection that travels throughout the entire body via the blood stream, causing organ dysfunction/failure and internal bleeding. It can be fatal in as little as 48 hours.

HOW IS IT SPREAD?

The bacteria favours warm, moist environments, ponds and stagnant water and areas exposed to flooding. The infection is often contracted when the dog is exposed to infected rodent urine in ponds or wet soil in poorly drained areas.

WHAT ARE THE CLINICAL SIGNS?

Clinical symptoms of leptospirosis vary and are non-specific, but can include;

  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever (high body temperature)
  • Lethargy
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Red urine
  • Yellow gums or eyes

HOW CAN I MINIMISE THE RISK TO MY DOG?

We have access to a vaccine that covers for one strain of leptospirosis. This does mean that there are strains that aren’t covered in this vaccine, however due to the often fatal nature of this disease, any level of protection may be beneficial. This vaccine is not included in our usual vaccine protocols, so even if your dog is up to date with their yearly vaccinations, they likely haven’t received a leptospirosis vaccination.

Vaccination is recommended for dogs who;

  • Are living in, or travelling to, the known areas affected in Sydney, Newcastle, South Coast, and the surrounding areas
  • Have contact with rats or other rodents

    For dogs who have never been vaccinated against leptospirosis, two doses of the vaccine given 2-4 weeks apart are required, followed by annual boosters to maintain protection. The second dose is to be given at least two weeks prior before traveling to known exposure areas & surrounds. Puppies can receive the vaccination from 6 weeks of age. The vaccination may be given with other yearly vaccines as part of a yearly check up appointment or on its own in a seperate appointment.

    In addition to vaccination, we recommend avoiding any stagnant water or places where there has been flooding. Keep your dog on lead when walking and do not allow them to swim in or drink stagnant water.

For more information or to book your pet in for vaccination, please call our friendly reception team on (02) 6230 2223.

Patient Spotlight – Odie’s Life Saving Surgery post Intussusception

Within days of Odie arriving to his new home, his owner knew something wasn’t right. Odie was very skinny compared to the other pups in his litter, he wasn’t passing solid stool and wasn’t bright and bouncy like a puppy his age should be.

Little Odie captured the hearts of our whole team, here is his story!

Odie was booked in to come and see Dr Lesa for a check up. On physical exam, Dr Lesa could feel that a section of his intestine was enlarged and very firm, which was a red flag that warranted further diagnostics. After being admitted into hospital Lesa took an x-ray of his abdomen which further substantiated her suspicions of intussusception.

Intussusception is a very dangerous condition that occurs when a portion of the intestine loops back into itself like a telescope does. This can cause extreme discomfort, gastrointestinal blockages and loss of blood supply to the affected intestine. This lack of blood supply can cause the portion of intestine to ‘die’ which then becomes a large risk for infection and sepsis, in an already unwell patient.

Intussusception can stem from anything that causes inflammation to the intestine, such as intestinal parasites (e.g. roundworms, hookworms & whipworms), ongoing diarrhoea, dietary indiscretion/changes, foreign bodies, tumors/masses and trauma such as being hit by a car. Unfortunately this means that this condition also carries a risk of recurrence after corrective surgery, even at the hands of the most skilled veterinarians.

X-ray and ultrasound can be useful tools to aid in diagnosis, but the most reliable way to confirm intussusception is via exploratory surgery. Surgical correction (surgically removing the affected portion of intestine) is required in almost all cases. Early detection and treatment is essential and once surgically corrected most animals experience a full recovery.

Odie post op, with a pain relief patch on his front right leg and IV fluids attached to his front left leg. Feeling very sleeping and sorry for himself.

Dr Lesa knew that Odie needed treatment right away, so emergency Saturday afternoon surgery it was for the poor little guy. Dr Lesa’s suspicions of intussusception were confirmed in surgery and she got right to work in resecting the affected intestine. Once stable post-op, Odie was transferred to CVES for ongoing monitoring and care over the weekend.

Odie returned to us on Monday morning and we were so happy to see him again. But even though he looked ever so slightly brighter than his previous visit, this little guy was not out of the woods yet. Unfortunately, Odie’s intussusception had reoccurred during his stay at CVES over the weekend. Dr Vickie performed an ultrasound on arrival and confirmed that this poor sick boy would require a second life saving surgery just days after his first. Thankfully, Odie’s second surgery went well and after days of hospitalization and supportive care, he was well enough to head back home to his owner who was eagerly awaiting his return!

Fast forward 2 months, Odie is now 5 months old, gaining weight and is happy and active just like a normal pup! On a recent visit for a weigh in, his lovely owner surprised us with a cake with a little Odie sculpture on top!

Odie, now over three times the weigh of first visit, having a cuddle with Nurse Mikaela who cared for him throughout both his surgeries.

Winter Grooming Advice

We know how tempting it can be to ditch your pets grooming routine in a chilly Canberra Winter, but the truth is, grooming your pet is just as important in Winter as it is in the warmer months.

Grooming isn’t just about looking good and smelling fresh, It is essential in promoting good health and comfort for your pet.

Every pet’s coat is different and so are their grooming needs, it is important to make sure you understand how to look after them properly. If you are not sure about your pet’s specific needs, speak to your vet or a qualified groomer for more information. Grooming your pet for winter doesn’t need to be an ordeal, it can be an extremely simple and comfortable activity with these squeaky-clean tips!

Brushing:

Dog holding a slicker brush in it's mouth

Brushing your pet’s coat is extremely important for removing knots and preventing mats from forming. Keeping a regular and consistent brushing routine will allow you to bathe your pet less frequently. Brushing helps to remove dead skin and hair and distributes your pet’s natural oils throughout their coat. A smooth, well brushed coat is key to properly insulating and keeping your pet clean in winter.

Some dog and cat breeds have double (and even triple!) coats, so getting rid of tangles is a top priority for these breeds! Try to brush your pet every couple of days (depending on their coat) and aim to make it a routine you both enjoy by using lick mats, chews and other treats they enjoy!

Bathing:

Bathing guidelines are a little different, depending on your pet. When it comes to cats, most don’t really need (or enjoy!) a bath, if they are able to effectively groom themselves. Dogs on the other hand, typically need more frequent bathing.  Of course, there are special circumstances when you may need to bathe your pet more, for example;

  • If they are recovering from an injury or procedure and cannot clean themselves efficiently
  • Some hairless cats require frequent bathing, speak to your vet for advice.
  • They may need an unscheduled bath if their coat has become matted, stuck with something that cannot be cleaned naturally or even just rolled in something smelly. 
  • If your pet has dry skin or other skin conditions, they may benefit from less (or more) frequent bathing.

    When you do have to bathe your pet, keep in mind a few important tips: 
  • Never use human shampoo and conditioner! The pH levels are different to what your pet needs and can cause skin irritations. Make sure you buy a specific kitten, cat, puppy, or dog shampoo.
  • Check the temperature – pets can’t tolerate the same water temperatures adult humans can. Make sure the water is comfortably warm but not hot or cold – imagine you are running a bath for a newborn baby. Use the tip of your elbow to check the temperature.
  • Make sure to dry your pet properly after a bath. Whether this is with a hairdryer or towel, it is important to make sure your pet dries thoroughly. Leaving your pet’s coat wet can lead to problematic skin conditions, matted fur and can also cause hypothermia in cold weather. If your pet prefers to air dry after a quick towel rub, make sure you bathe them early on a warm day so they have plenty of time to dry in the sun.
  • Remember to keep an eye on your hair dryer’s temperature if you use one – these can get HOT!

Footcare:

Our pets need paw-dicures too! Here are some easy tips for looking after your pet’s paws:

  • Keep your pet’s nails trimmed – this will prevent painful cracked or curling nails and more serious long-term foot and leg damage.
  • Take your dog outside to walk on hard and rough surfaces like concrete – the rough surface will act as a file and help to wear their nails down naturally.
  • Trim your cat’s claws during winter – if they spend more time indoors when it is cold outside, they might be more prone to scratch household furniture and other indoor pets!
  • Keep the fur in between your pet’s toes trimmed neatly. If this becomes wet through walking, it may be slow to dry, encouraging bacterial growth that causes skin irritations and other issues (not to mention, it will become smelly!). 

Dry Skin

Just like us, our pet’s skin can become dry in winter too. This can be for a number of reasons (incl. parasites, cool weather or allergies) and may be treated with moisturisers, dietary supplements, regular grooming and if needed, medication (check with us before starting your pet on any treatment). It is important to check your pet closely for signs of dry or irritated skin – 

  • Itchiness (look for excessive scratching)
  • Dandruff, scabby and flaky skin 
  • Cracked paws
  • Hair loss
  • Increased oiliness
  • An unpleasant odour

No matter how big or small your pet is, proper winter grooming will keep them happy, healthy, comfortable and looking fantastic over the cooler months!

Have a chat with us today about grooming and any concerns you may have – you can get in touch by calling our friendly reception team on (02) 6230 2223.

We’re Hiring – Full Time Veterinary Receptionist

Are you an experienced veterinary receptionist who’s looking for a change of scenery or a newbie who’s eager to start their career in the veterinary industry?

Hall Vet Surgery and Vets at Amaroo are looking for a loud and proud ‘People Person’ to join our crew! Our customer care team are passionate about providing customer service excellence at every opportunity and making a difference in the moments that matter.

ABOUT US

Located in the picturesque Hall Village, Hall Veterinary Surgery has spent the last 30+ years embedding itself as a practice of choice for many Canberrans and their furry friends. In 2018, we brought our celebrated ‘friendly country care’ to a second convenient location via our new branch practice, Vets at Amaroo. Together, we are a team of diverse minds that are united by the same common goal and passion, delivering gold standard care to pets and their people.

ABOUT THE ROLE

  • Shared role across both the Hall and Amaroo branches
  • 38 hours per week with additional 1 in 4 Saturday mornings
  • Fast paced, challenging and rewarding role
  • Supportive team environment that embraces continued learning
  • Starting wage $20-$26/hour dependent on age and relevant experience

ABOUT THE PERKS

  • Enjoy a great work life balance with a standard 4 day working week
  • Saturday morning shifts on a rotating roster of 1 in 4
  • Free parking available at both clinic locations
  • Above award pay rates & paid parental leave
  • Take advantage of our staff discount scheme for your own animals
  • Go home feeling fulfilled knowing that you made a real difference to someones day in helping to keep their pets healthy and well!
  • Need we mention the puppy and kitten cuddles!?

ABOUT YOU

Our ideal candidate;

  • Has prior experience in a customer service role
  • Finds satisfaction in helping clients when they need it most
  • Is excited by the opportunity to push themselves, learn and grow
  • Is resilient, enjoys a challenge and shows initiative
  • Possesses a high level of emotional intelligence & self awareness
  • Is a team player, dedicated to working together to succeed
  • Is passionate about animals and is excited to pave out a career in a veterinary profession

APPLICATIONS

If this sounds like the job for you we’d love to hear from you! Email a one page cover letter outlining why you’re the best person for the role and your up to date CV to April Maney – april@hallvet.com.au

Trainee veterinary nurses will be considered for this position, however cannot be guaranteed a nursing placement in the near future.

Applications for this role close at 11:59pm Sunday 15th May. Interviews will be held Saturday 21st of May.

We’re Hiring – Full Time or Part Time Qualified Vet Nurse

ABOUT US:

Hall Veterinary Surgery has been part of the Hall community for 30 years. We are located on the outskirts of Canberra in a village atmosphere surrounded by nature with a great coffee shop just down the road. We recently opened our second clinic in Amaroo, approximately a 10-minute drive from Hall. Opening our Amaroo practice has given us the scope to do more of what we all love doing, providing exceptional veterinary care to our patients and clients.

All of our staff take pride in maintaining a high standard of care for every pet (and their people!). Both of our hospitals are well equipped with up-to-date monitoring technology (BP, ETCO2, ECG, SPO2) and our nurses have exceptional knowledge in these areas.

Keen to expand your knowledge and hands on experience? We believe in excelling our nurses and utilising them to their full potential!
Our nurses are trained and trusted in performing:

  • Blood collection and catheterisation
  • Intubation and induction of anaesthesia
  • Dental scale & polishes
  • Scrubbing in to major abdominal surgeries and orthopaedics
  • Assisting in administering chemotherapy
  • Capturing radiographs and assisting in ultrasonography
  • Performing specific nurse consultations

Want to know more? Let some of our current nurses tell you in their own words!

THE PERKS:

  • Family-like culture and atmosphere
  • 4 day working week
  • Rotating Saturday roster – only one Saturday morning a month!
  • Free and close proximity parking at both clinics
  • Paid parental leave
  • Staff discounts for your own fur babies

ABOUT YOU:

  • Cert IV qualified
  • Experience working with companion animals
  • Full time or part time
  • Someone who works well within a diverse team
  • Also able to show initiative and work well individually

If this sounds like you and you are ready for a change of scenery we’d love to hear from you! Please send a one page cover letter telling us about yourself and why you’re the best person for the role, and your resume including availability to:
Keely Scotland – keely@hallvet.com.au

COVID-19 Updates March 2022

MASKS

In accordance with the ACT Government, masks are no longer required for entry to our premises. However, if it helps you to feel more comfortable you are more than welcome to wear one.

THE CONSULTATION AND ADMISSION PROCESS

If your pet is friendly (with humans & other animals) and happy to wait in the waiting room you are no longer required to call before entering.

If you pet is more comfortable waiting outside or in the car, please call to let us know you’ve arrives and we’ll go from there.

Please limit those attending your appointment to just those that MUST be there.

THE FOOD AND MEDICATION COLLECTION PROCESS

You are no longer required to call before entering the practice so long as there if sufficient space in the waiting room for you to socially distance. During peak periods you may be required to wait outside briefly until someone exits the waiting room.

From all of us at Hall Vet Surgery,
Thank you for your ongoing understanding and support.

Cat Containment – Environmental Needs & Enrichment for the Indoor Cat

Whilst there are already a number of cat containment suburbs across Canberra, from the 1st of July 2022 all new cats in the ACT are required to be contained to their owners home, or on a leash if outdoors.

Cat containment not only helps to keep your cat safe from dangers such as cars and traffic, snakes and cat fights, but is also crucial for the safety of our native wildlife.

Cats are natural predators and domestic cats have been shown to hunt and kill a wide variety of native and non-native wildlife in our region. Many Canberra suburbs are close to nature reserves, areas set up to protect native wildlife. Allowing cats to wander away from their home brings them into these protected areas where they can prey on small birds, reptiles, and small mammals.

Cats are adaptable creatures and with the right environmental enrichment, can live very full and happy lives whilst contained.

BASIC ENVIRONMENTAL NEEDS FOR INDOOR CATS

Your cats basic environmental needs are crucial in setting your cat up for success in an indoor only environment. These basic needs can be broken down into four main pillars;

1. Providing a safe space
For a cat, a safe place is a private and secure area, often in a raised location. These features give the cat a sense of enclosure, isolation or seclusion. A safe place is one that a cat can retreat to so that it feels protected such as an igloo or a perch/hammock in a raised location

2. Providing separate key resources
This is especially important in multiple cat households. Each cat in your household should be offered their own food, water, litter trays/toileting areas, scratching areas, play areas, and resting or sleeping areas. Each key resource should be placed in it’s own location, separate from other key resources.

3. Providing opportunity for play and predatory behaviour
Cats need ample opportunity to mimic predatory behaviour such as hunting, chasing, pouncing and capturing in their day to day life. This can be achieved by hiding/scattering food, using puzzle feeders and implementing play with toys such as feather wands and teasers.

4. Provide positive, consistent and predictable human–cat social interaction
Cats are companion animals that benefit from regular, friendly and predictable social interaction with humans. Many cats prefer a high frequency, low intensity level of social contact with humans, a scenario that gives them a good deal of control. It is important to remember that you should never force an interaction with your cat. Let them initiate, choose and control the type of human contact they desire.

ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT FOR INDOOR CATS

Environmental enrichment is important to keep your pet happy, active and stimulated in an indoor only environment. Without environmental enrichment some indoor cats may become frustrated, bored and even stressed or destructive. Here are some great ways to enrich your cats life;

  • Consider investing in or DIYing a secure outdoor cat run so that your cat can enjoy the great outdoors in a safe and controlled way
  • Encourage foraging and hunting behaviours with food puzzles, games and toys
  • Provide a comfortable resting area close to a window that your cat enjoys looking out of
  • Hide your cat’s favourite treats around the house and let them use their powerful noses to seek them out
  • Provide multiple dedicated scratching areas/posts
  • Cats enjoy exploring vertical spaces. Placing hammocks, perches or shelves at varying heights are a great way to allow your cat to jump, climb and explore. Always make sure these are safely and securely fixed to your walls before allowing your cat access.
  • If your cat enjoys water play, encourage your cat to ‘go fishing’ for a ping pong ball or brightly coloured marble in a sink filled to a low level with water.
  • Some cats enjoy watching or listening to nature sounds on the television, try popping Animal Planet on the TV and watch how your cat responds.
  • Laser balls/toys can be a great way to allow your cat to use their natural hunting instincts such as chasing and pouncing. Always keep play sessions short and end on a high note before you see any signs of frustration or over arousal.

For further information or questions on the environmental needs of your cat, please get in touch on 6230 2223.

Further information on ACT Cat Containment laws can be found HERE.

Christmas & New Years Opening Hours

We wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and New Years.
Hall Vet Surgery’s opening hours over the Christmas period are as follows:

  • Friday 24th December: 8:00am – 3:30pm
  • Saturday 25th December: CLOSED
  • Sunday 26th December: CLOSED
  • Monday 27th December: CLOSED
  • Tuesday 28th December: CLOSED
  • Wednesday 29th December: 8:00am – 6:30pm
  • Thursday 30th December: 8:00am – 6:30pm
  • Friday 31st December: 8:00am – 3:30pm
  • Saturday 1st January: CLOSED
  • Sunday 2nd January: CLOSED
  • Monday 3rd January: CLOSED
  • Tuesday 4th January: 8:00am – 6:30pm

For urgent veterinary attention whilst we are closed, please phone Canberra Veterinary Emergency Services in Gungahlin on 6225 7257, or Animal Referral Hospital Canberra in Pialligo on 6280 6344.

Veterinarians Wanted!

Veterinarians, we want you!

Hall Vet Surgery & Vets at Amaroo provide a workplace where you can truly develop your passions and explore new pathways. 

For experienced vets, we can provide a clinic with clients that say ‘yes’, a large and varied caseload with close proximity to specialists and after hours emergency services. Would you like to learn how to do TTA’s, Echo’s or Ultrasounds? Would you like to pursue your memberships? All of this can be fully supported by us.

If you are a new or recent graduate veterinarian looking for a workplace that is fun and has experienced vets that can mentor and support your development, then you have found it. Our culture is our strength, where there is no fear of failure – just opportunities to learn. We are proud of our truly collaborative environment where we all work together to provide the best outcome for the pets and their owners. Our nurses are skilled, confident and supportive. Our dedicated receptionists provide excellent customer service whilst being mindful of scheduling and our management team works hard to make these the friendliest and funnest clinics to work at in Canberra.

Our two clinics in Northern Canberra combine the best of both worlds- country charm and city chic with all new and purpose built facilities and equipment.

This is an opportunity for you and your family to enjoy a great quality of life. This position can be tailored to suit your lifestyle and passions, in and outside of work.

Our extra benefits set us apart from other surrounding vets! These include:
  • Above award salary and commensurate with experience
  • ACT Veterinary surgeons board registration, ACT radiation licence and VIN membership paid for
  • Work-life balance with flexible rosters including rostered days off
  • Joining a friendly, supportive and knowledgeable team
  • Generous continued education packages

Come and see for yourself, apply now!
janet@hallvet.com.au
6230 2223 (Mon – Fri, 8:00 – 6:00)  

Here’s what your veterinarian peers have to say about working with us: